A famous anecdote illustrates Baedeker’s exacting methods: In 1847, Baedeker was in Milan to research the city’s celebrated cathedral. No trip to this site is complete without a climb to the cathedral roof for the rare and spectacular close-up view it affords of the decorative carvings high above the city. As Baedeker ascended the steep stairs to the roof, he was seen to pull something from his pant pocket and drop it every few steps. In fact, the scrupulous fact-checker was placing a pea at 20-step intervals to ensure the precision of his count. On his way back down, Baedeker collected the peas to cross check his figures and thus assure his readers ¾ with consummate accuracy ¾ of the exertions required to reach the top.